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How Céline Dion rebuilt her 'second half' after René Angélil's death

By Heather Cichowski

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Céline Dion's dear husband and manager, René Angélil, passed away on Jan. 14, 2016, just two days shy of his 74th birthday. His death came after battling throat cancer.

In a behind-the-scenes short video for Apple Music, French-Canadian singer Céline opened up about rediscovering herself and healing while making her 2019 album, Courage – her first English-language album since René's death.

"Sometimes, we don't think that we are so courageous," Céline said at the start of the video.

Behind Céline Dion’s Courage | Apple Music

"But, sometimes we are stronger than we think," she continued.

MORE: Céline Dion covers a classic French-Canadian song for COVID-19 relief

The 52-year-old explained what it was like coming to terms with René's death, including realizing she would be a single mom to children René-Charles, 19, and nine-year-old twins Eddy and Nelson.

"Him and I, we were one person," the "My Heart Will Go On" singer said of René. "We were one. So, when he passed away, I kind of felt like for a moment that there was just one half of me."

Céline also had to deal with performing in her concert residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and recording her new English album without her husband by her side.

Celine Dion with her mother, Thérèse Tanguay Dion, and husband René Angélil at the 79th Academy Awards in February 2007. Photo: © TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

She admitted a lot of things changed while recording Courage. She said she shifted her attitude, took more risks and found herself again. "The Power of Love" singer also opened up about the contradicting emotions she still feels at different times, including thinking about her husband but also having new dreams.

"Am I just not going to go on anymore?" Céline said of her thoughts at the time. "Or, am I going to say: 'I'm a warrior, I'm a mother. I have strength, and I am going to show them that I can do this'?

"I decided to rebuild my second half. It made me realize that it's time to try new things."

She said the creative process involved "dreaming out loud" in the recording studio. And the title reflects that.

"This whole album, the fact that we called it Courage is because of the song, obviously, but it represented the whole album," the mom of three stated.

MORE: Céline Dion pays tribute to late husband René Angélil on the fourth anniversary of his death

Céline previously opened up about her husband's passing and their relationship.

In January, she shared a heartfelt tribute on the fourth anniversary of René's death.

View post on Instagram

"There is not a day that goes by without me thinking about your beautiful smile," Céline penned in English and French. "We miss you, thank you for watching over us my love. I love you. Céline xx…"

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